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Bamboo to You

August 25, 2008

I finished these socks yesterday, a mere five weeks and two days after I started them; that’s my fastest pair yet, beating my previous record by two whole days. Not that speed is the point; if it were I would have focused all my creative time and energy on them while they were in process, but instead I was knitting on other things and playing with fabric and stuff. I like to dabble and follow my whims when I’m home; it’s a nice change from being constrained by priority lists and schedules at work. The yarn for these is On Your Toes Bamboo (75% bamboo, 25% nylon), my first time working with that fiber. I like how soft the yarn is; I did not like the knots in the ball (two or three of them, I forget which) or how splitty it was to work with. The pattern is Express Lane by Diane Mulholland, which I can’t remember how I found but it’s a pretty safe bet that Ravelry was involved. I couldn’t figure out the short row toe instructions in the pattern, so I turned to the Queen Kahuna book and used her method instead (I also used her short row heel).

This was my first time following a chart for a pattern and it went pretty well. I did manage to increase a stitch on one sock and not realize it for about three inches, but that was in the plain non-charted part. It also took me until I was past the heel to notice I had failed to follow the chart correctly on every other row all the way up, but at least I was consistent, and it wasn’t the part of the chart with the increases and decreases which form the main part of the design. (It was the center band, which should be reverse stockinette instead of the knit/purl stripes I’ve got going on.) I also didn’t quite get the ribbing right, but I’m just glad I had the patience to do the ribbing at all since I skipped it on my last pair. I couldn’t do as many rounds of ribbing as the pattern called for because I was running out of yarn. I tried a new to me cast-off I found on Ravelry (a variation on the Russian Cast-Off, starting with a K1 and doing the decreases through the back loop) and ended up with only a handful of yarn ends left. If not for the yarn I lost to the knots in the ball I might have had enough for a few more rounds. I wonder if I could have gotten by with fewer stitches on the needles; I made the large size but they’re by no means snug, so maybe.

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